School Defends Pepper Spraying Students

May 19, 2017
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A high school in Ohio is defending its decision to pepper spray a group of 11th-grade students. The school says it was a lesson in law enforcement and consequences.

The incident occurred last week at Barberton High School in Barberton, near Cleveland.

As part of a class in law and public safety, the instructor made the students line up against a wall. He then spritzed them one by one with a burst of pepper spray.

The school says that the students volunteered for the activity and that parents gave permission.

“Students were required to have parental permission and consent in order to participate in the voluntary exercise,” said Barberton City School’s superintendent Patricia Cleary.

The video is however raising all sorts of eye brows online.

Student Madison Garland said the video seemed funny at first, however ultimately made for uncomfortable viewing. The two-and-a-half minute clip shows one girl screaming “It feels like a volcano in my eyes!” Others covered their eyes as they folded over in pain.

“This teacher should me fired for his job #firethisteacher,” Jose Benitez posted in the comments section of the video posted online.

Cleary stands behind the voluntary activity and says the class instructor is a former police chief

A school resource officer was also present as well as a parent who had consented to the assignment, filming the video.

In the permission slip, the project was explained as “part of our defensive tactics training that we have covered this year.”

“I will introduce the use and effects of law enforcement OC “Pepper Spray” to the students. … It will cause irritation and a burning sensation to the eyes and nasal area for approximately 30 minutes to 1 hour.

This is a controlled and safe experience for the students and is completely voluntary.”

What do you think? Good idea or bad idea?

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